My whole life could be different!
January 4, 2017 11:41 AM   Subscribe

What do you wish you had started doing sooner?

I feel like life is full of those "why didn't I do this before?" moments, things that are usually not viewed as essential and usually don't require a great deal of extra effort but end up making a big difference in your life/overall quality of life. I'm thinking of things that usually have a low cost-high benefit ratio, not things that are like "I bought a yacht, my life is great now" unless buying a yacht really is the key to happiness. More like..."hey I started wearing these tabbed socks and now my they don't always slip off my feet" or "use an eyebrow pencil, it can really enhance your face) (even if these sounds silly or common sense). Basically I'm looking for little things that help optimize living--whether it be item or habit or mantra or etc
posted by sprezzy to Grab Bag (110 answers total) 225 users marked this as a favorite
4 identical spatulas from a kitchen supply store for $3 apiece and my life Is so much better - no more running across the kitchen to wash a spatula in the middle of cooking and then burning my eggs.
posted by asphericalcow at 11:44 AM on January 4, 2017 [18 favorites]

Riffing on the kitchen theme, having an instant-read thermometer is a game changer if you enjoy meat. ~$15
posted by deadwater at 11:48 AM on January 4, 2017 [4 favorites]

Sock glue. This keeps the little no-show socks that I wear actually *on* my feet, in addition to being great for costumes, etc. This is now on my "I don't travel without it" list. Seriously, this has changed my life.

Also, the fact that usb flash drives have a seam on the metal part that always goes down when they go into the computer. That way you know which way is up and which way is down.
posted by needlegrrl at 11:49 AM on January 4, 2017 [24 favorites]

Eucerin's in-shower lotion is fantastic if you hate putting on lotion but have dry skin.
posted by snaw at 11:50 AM on January 4, 2017 [7 favorites]

Meditation. Therapy. Quitting coffee. Rhodiola rosea.
posted by o0dano0o at 11:53 AM on January 4, 2017 [5 favorites]

I wish I had learned earlier on that being a cynical, snarky, negative person was not the way to be. I still fight it, but mostly I now try to find humor and goodness in most things rather than find a reason to hate everything. It's made me a much happier, much better person.

Also, Darn Tough socks.
posted by bondcliff at 11:53 AM on January 4, 2017 [54 favorites]

1. Parchment Paper for baking, cooking, everything. Unlike wax paper and tinfoil (which can't be recycled, in Ontario anyway), it can go in the green bin! Keeps pans clean, and cookies cycling quickly.

2. Putting my clothes out before going to bed. Every morning, it feels good to thank myself for having picked out my clothes beforehand.

3. Taking up Meditation - 10 minutes a day, and I feel so much more resilient, balanced, and generally forgiving (of others AND myself). It is crazy how something so simple can have such a profound impact. And I see it changing and growing every day.

4. Do you like or use garlic frquently? I do, and this garlic peeler makes meal prep SO MUCH BETTER. No fiddling! no stinky garlic fingers!

5. Micellar "water" for taking off eye makeup. It has SAVED MY SKIN from terrible eczema this winter!! Crazy how well it works. I started off with the expensive Avene kind, but paid half for L'Oreal's brand and it works just as well.
posted by Dressed to Kill at 11:54 AM on January 4, 2017 [12 favorites]

I started actually bundling up for the cold, even just for quickly walking to my car in 0 degree weather. I used to just dash and suffer, but being cozy with mittens and scarfs and ear warmers (!!!) has made me enjoy 6 months out of the year so much more. Bonus points for additionally carrying an insulated bottle of hot honeyed tea in my bag.

I guess the more abstract concept was "letting" myself spend money on something frivolous that I could technically do without but yet provided unmeasurable physical comfort that makes my life more pleasureable.
posted by cakebatter at 11:54 AM on January 4, 2017 [13 favorites]

After almost two decades of adult life, and a more than a decade with the contents of Mr. Motion's pockets, I finally have two jars on top of the dryer in the laundry room: one for random coins found in pockets, and one for random bits of hardware found in pockets.

Like the spatulas, more Sensible Duplication: Cell phone charger (and cable) for each person in the household, dedicated to every room in which you will spend time (and one dedicated to travel).

Supply of garbage bags/papertowels on every floor of the house, and near whereever the litter boxes are (storage permitting).
posted by sparklemotion at 11:55 AM on January 4, 2017 [5 favorites]

My god, seconding Micellqr water for makeup removal. It's also great for camping and backcountry to feel really clean with almost no fuss! It's a life changing product.
posted by cakebatter at 11:56 AM on January 4, 2017 [3 favorites]

Paying off my credit cards every month and to never use shopping as entertainment.
posted by soelo at 11:56 AM on January 4, 2017 [27 favorites]

We got a self inking return address stamp after just 17 years in this house. Better than sticky labels.
posted by fixedgear at 11:57 AM on January 4, 2017 [10 favorites]

Using a menstrual cup instead of tampons and/or pads!
posted by Blissful at 11:59 AM on January 4, 2017 [19 favorites]

- Blow drying my hair. Not blowing it out straight so it looks like I came from the salon, but taking five to ten minutes to blow dry it so it looks non-frizzy and far more polished than if I air dry it.

- Buying Ziploc plastic containers for storage of leftovers. I used to just sort of whomp everything into aluminum foil and wrap it (learned that bad habit from my mother); putting it in Ziploc containers makes things so much neater and keeps stuff fresh longer.

- Buy clothing in large quantities when possible, e.g., get a dozen pairs of panty hose at once.

-Buy skin care items like moisturizer and cleanser only when on sale, like a buy one get half off or buy one get one free sale. Those types of things go on sale extremely regularly (like once every couple of months) and buying in twos or threes saves a fair amount of money.
posted by holborne at 12:01 PM on January 4, 2017 [4 favorites]

Running. I started doing it semi-regularly last year after resisting exercise for a long time, and it really improved my mood and sleep.
posted by dismas at 12:01 PM on January 4, 2017 [16 favorites]

Yoga. Never carrying a balance on my credit card. Not spending free time with people I don't enjoy.
posted by crush-onastick at 12:01 PM on January 4, 2017 [11 favorites]

I tossed all my tupperware type containers when I moved, and bought several of the SAME EXACT KIND in two sizes that work best for my needs. The lids all stack together and I keep them in a large plastic container. I no longer have to search for the right lid to the right container because they all fit each other and stack nicely.
posted by misskaz at 12:04 PM on January 4, 2017 [15 favorites]

On frosty mornings, instead of sitting in the car with the engine idling, waiting for the defroster to melt the ice on the windshield, I'll fill a liter bottle with water from the kitchen sink and pour it over the windshield. The ice is melted almost instantly, and then I run the wipers to clear the water before it re-freezes.
posted by ogooglebar at 12:06 PM on January 4, 2017 [3 favorites]

I recently started upgrading my wardrobe to items that are a bit more pricey but actually provide comfort/warmth/cooling properties etc. like stuff from Columbia and REI. Previously I was just buying cheaper crap and being frustrated all the time that I was too cold or itchy or whatever. I never realized that wearing the right kinds of clothing for your climate can make a huge difference in quality of life. Plus they are lasting longer too. It felt frivolous buying this stuff for myself but now I wonder why I didn't do it sooner.

In the same vein I recently bought a more expensive purse made with quality materials. Previously I was just going through cheap purse after cheap purse and they all kept breaking. It's also made me happier and less anxious to just have one thing that will last me forever, especially since the store has a lifetime guarantee.

It's that old saying about how the fool pays twice or whatever. I've been learning to buy targeted things for myself that will last a long time and really improve my day to day.
posted by FireFountain at 12:06 PM on January 4, 2017 [15 favorites]

this is long-hair specific but when you're blow drying long hair, instead of rolling it around the brush from the bottom up, roll it from the top down so you dry the parts closest to the scalp first. this keeps the ends from drying out and splitting as fast as they would otherwise.
posted by poffin boffin at 12:07 PM on January 4, 2017 [4 favorites]

What do you wish you had started doing sooner? [...] I'm thinking of things that usually have a low cost-high benefit ratio...

Stop dating men.
posted by amnesia and magnets at 12:14 PM on January 4, 2017 [51 favorites]

posted by ptm at 12:15 PM on January 4, 2017 [5 favorites]

A little bit higher on the cost scale is hiring housekeepers. HOWEVER, it ended up being drastically less expensive than we'd imagined when we first did it, and it has been absolutely life changing for us. It's not "buy a yacht" territory; it's "a few meals out" territory. If you can afford it, I highly recommend it.
posted by primethyme at 12:16 PM on January 4, 2017 [14 favorites]

Yoga for the body, yes. You'll be much happier at 60. Meditation for the mind--All it takes is 5 minutes out of the day.

Hire a lawyer if you need one.
posted by BlueHorse at 12:16 PM on January 4, 2017

If your socks keep slipping down, try right-angle socks.
posted by airmail at 12:18 PM on January 4, 2017

Yeti cup or a similar insulated cup. I can have ice water all day long and the ice never melts! I just started using it for hot tea and it stays hot forever. It's like this cup is made out of magic.
posted by ilovewinter at 12:20 PM on January 4, 2017 [4 favorites]

Having "favorites" of things like colors, shoes, animals, songs, movies, snacks. This is something I picked up from my kids and I think it keeps me young and makes my day more fun.
I love listening to comedy podcasts while I do housework.
This may not apply to everyone, but shaving my legs with conditioner means I don't have to moisturize separately. I also started air drying my hair and embracing my hair's natural waves, which looks better and is so much easier than straightening it.
posted by areaperson at 12:20 PM on January 4, 2017 [8 favorites]

Preventative maintenance. If it has a filter, the filter gets cleaned or changed. If it has a lubrication point, it gets a little lube. Coffeemaker gets a little white vinegar to de-scale it. If you have a car, change the oil, check your tire pressure. Change your wiper blades - hey I can see.
posted by fixedgear at 12:21 PM on January 4, 2017 [2 favorites]

Buying several power adapters for my laptop, and then having one in each room where I use the laptop for a longer time.
posted by CompanionCube at 12:22 PM on January 4, 2017 [9 favorites]

I put a little $15 space heater in the bathroom and it makes winter mornings so much better. Also two high quality bathmats so the entire floor is soft and warm.
posted by fingersandtoes at 12:28 PM on January 4, 2017 [6 favorites]

Installed a password manager.
posted by quaking fajita at 12:29 PM on January 4, 2017 [24 favorites]

Investing the time and love and money in committing to a giving a pet a great life. Then spoiling it rotten. I agonized over whether to adopt both a cat and a dog in my 20s; luckily one of each pretty much fell into my lap at different times. HUGE life improvement over inconvenience ratio, for me!
posted by flourpot at 12:31 PM on January 4, 2017 [24 favorites]

Five minutes of effort daily gets way more accomplished than two and a half hours monthly.

Buy 20 pairs of socks and throw all the old ones out. Time spent matching socks is 100 percent wasted.

If you get something cheap, get a second one at the same time. Or buy something twice as expensive that'll last longer.
posted by Etrigan at 12:36 PM on January 4, 2017 [7 favorites]

Tongue scrapers
posted by tinymegalo at 12:38 PM on January 4, 2017

Started making homemade stock out of saved veggie and animal scraps.

Basic idea is save everything bone, skin, onion, beet, potato, carrot, whatever. Almost everything goes in to a freezer bag.

When you get to at least a few few quarts volume, boil on low for at least four hours. Strain and freeze, then enjoy the best soups of your life!
posted by SaltySalticid at 12:39 PM on January 4, 2017 [8 favorites]

Learn at least the rudiments of some musical instrument and some music theory.
posted by SaltySalticid at 12:41 PM on January 4, 2017 [4 favorites]

-Seriously, chargers in every room are amazing. I use a four-port USB thing that I plug all the cords into. Relatedly:
-I only travel like once a year, but I keep my luggage packed with a dopp kit with travel-sized toiletries, basic makeup, toothbrush, etc, a set of chargers for whatever devices, and a jewelry roll. Basically anything I had a history of frantically throwing into my purse at the last minute. Eliminated a lot of travel agita.
posted by Snarl Furillo at 12:42 PM on January 4, 2017 [7 favorites]

Setting up automatic withdrawals to a retirement savings account that occur the day after payday.
posted by barnoley at 12:43 PM on January 4, 2017 [16 favorites]

I finally got one of those hanging toiletry bags for traveling. I somehow imagined they were a gimmick but in fact, they are not.
posted by bluebird at 12:44 PM on January 4, 2017 [2 favorites]

A few years back, I finally got around to dedicating three months to getting my online banking set up perfectly. I paid every bill as soon as I was able during this span, until I got to the point where I was ahead enough to be able to pay each bill either the exact day it comes in (and never think about it again) or on my payday in batches and still be in advance of pertinent due dates.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 12:47 PM on January 4, 2017 [3 favorites]

I stopped over investing time and effort in relationships with people who only gave a fraction back, takers instead of givers, if you will. As a result, I lost a fair few "friends" and a barely there long term relationship. The upside is I was free to find people who actually valued me the same way I did them. My friends are fewer but much better and I found a husband who is a true partner. This would never have happened if I'd continued to waste my time on the others. I wish I'd done it years before.
posted by Jubey at 12:51 PM on January 4, 2017 [16 favorites]

Also, I wish I'd gone full-on Zuckerberg with my wardrobe a long time ago, as the daily questions of what to wear, which socks, which underwear, which shoes, etc. were a niggling little hassle with no perceptible reward. I have dozens of the same pair of socks, 15-20 pairs of the same underwear, three pairs of the same jeans, three near-identical hoodies, and three pairs of exceedingly similar Doc Martens shoes. I have a stack of printed and plain tees that all fit and three sweaters of the same cut and style. This accounts for 97% of what I wear and requires no effort beyond making sure laundry gets washed.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 12:53 PM on January 4, 2017 [24 favorites]

Eucerin's in-shower lotion is fantastic if you hate putting on lotion but have dry skin.

$2 travel-size cosmetic spray bottle from the drugstore
1 bottle Neutrogena (or Drugstore Brand) Body Oil, or jojoba, or avocado oil (you can get the Neutrogena in many stores' trial size area, for a start).

Put the latter in the former, put the former in your shower, immediately after you shut off the water spray YOUR HAND and rub down with oil, do not spray all over yourself and the walls and floor. Then pat dry gently or air dry when you get out of the shower.

Refill the little sprayer half way from the big bottle as needed. The little half-full sprayer is less of a drop danger and lasts weeks before needing a top-up.

Game changer.
posted by Lyn Never at 12:55 PM on January 4, 2017 [11 favorites]

I stopped buying clothes/shoes that don't fit me perfectly. I still let it happen occasionally, but not nearly as much as before, where I thought I could just tailor it or wear bigger socks because it's oh so cute. Nope. If it doesn't fit exactly right, it's going back on the shelf.
posted by monologish at 12:56 PM on January 4, 2017 [12 favorites]

I started putting together capsule wardrobes so that most of my clothes went well together and were much simpler and streamlined. It reduces time spent dwelling on what to wear., while still looking pulled together.

Also, I started reading online reviews and 'buy it once to last a lifetime' lists. Now I have a knife I shouldn't ever have to replace, a decent pot, a great set of boots etc. It's expensive and I can't necessarily afford to do it all at once but in the long term it will save me money. Plus, there's nothing like using a really good Le Creuset Dutch oven or well made knife that you know you can give to your grandkids.
posted by Jubey at 12:57 PM on January 4, 2017 [3 favorites]

Also those hanging toiletry bags are fantastic for packing all your chargers and dongles and batteries and doodads for traveling or storing in your laptop bag.
posted by Lyn Never at 12:57 PM on January 4, 2017 [3 favorites]

I wish I had given depression treatment meds a chance way way sooner. As a teen and twenty-something, I thought meds were a copout, sellout, bullshit fix for something that I was tough enough to deal with myself. So I spent my teens and twenties mostly just fighting myself, until I got too old and tired to fight myself anymore, and didn't manage to accomplish much. When I finally found the right drugs (welbutrin) at age 29, my life did a total turn around and I'm finally on the road to a decent career and life at 34, when I could have started at 24 and been much further up the ladder/down the road by now.

Also, just generally finding a fun sport or athletic pursuit that I enjoyed. I never developed any inclination toward exercise (see youthful depression) and now I pretty much hate it, but have to do it so my body doesn't quit on me.

And really, just any hobby too. Whether that be sport or craft or art. It gets harder to make friends as you get older, and having a common hobby through which to meet people is nice.
posted by greta simone at 1:03 PM on January 4, 2017 [20 favorites]

YNAB. Other budgeting methods (as well as using no budgeting methods at all) made me feel stressed out and incompetent, but once I got the hang of YNAB my finances just slid into place. I do so much better with a detailed "envelope" system.
posted by current resident at 1:08 PM on January 4, 2017 [10 favorites]

Perhaps too specific to be useful, but in the vein of "giving in to realities I previously chose to fight," like proper winter clothing, etc: wearing minimizer bras. They cost slightly more than regular kinds, but are infinitely more comfortable and have cut my tailoring costs dramatically. I used to have to get every shirt altered, now it's more like half. And because my boobs are less titanic-appearing (pun semi-intended...) I have expanded style options.
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 1:23 PM on January 4, 2017 [3 favorites]

Gargling. As I got older, I started feeling more and more often like I had bits of stuff stuck in my tonsils that gave me a slight sore throat and bad breath. (I'd notice it particularly after eating crumbly or crunchy foods like shortbread cookies or corn chips or after eating raspberries with their little seeds.) The idea of gargling finally occurred to me and it turns out it really works to fix that problem.
posted by Redstart at 1:25 PM on January 4, 2017 [3 favorites]

When walking down the outside stairs with the dog, hold the railing and the leash in the same hand - that way, he can't pull me down the stairs.

Sharing a bed in winter: put a blanket underneath the sheets in between you, all bunched up near your shoulders/face. It prevents that gap of cold air.
posted by Ms Vegetable at 1:30 PM on January 4, 2017

Getting medicated for my ADHD.
posted by SansPoint at 1:43 PM on January 4, 2017 [2 favorites]

On frosty mornings, instead of sitting in the car with the engine idling, waiting for the defroster to melt the ice on the windshield, I'll fill a liter bottle with water from the kitchen sink and pour it over the windshield. The ice is melted almost instantly, and then I run the wipers to clear the water before it re-freezes.
posted by ogooglebar at 2:06 PM on January 4

...wait, do you not have window scrapers where you are? Your profile says Cali, so maybe not. They're brushes that're about a yard long, with a three or four inch wide plastic blade on the end. You scrape the frost off, then brush it away. Takes about a minute to do all the windows on my car.
posted by Kreiger at 1:59 PM on January 4, 2017 [4 favorites]

Putting money in an IRA or 401K at an earlier age. I didn't start until I was 50 and it's very difficult to make up for the 30 years I wasn't saving anything.
posted by a humble nudibranch at 2:05 PM on January 4, 2017 [3 favorites]

Heavy Duty Aluminum foil. My friends are sick of hearing my amazement and happiness at this change from subpar standard aluminum foil.
I guess I thought it was some BS upcharge and always just bought the cheaper, regular foil. While it's fine for some applications, heavy duty aluminum foil changed the foil-using aspects of my life. It's sturdier, doesn't wrinkle and then tear when you get a spatula near it, it stays in the shape you left it. I've become a heavy duty foil evangelist in real life and everyone is kind of sick of it. So thank you for this opportunity.
posted by atomicstone at 2:07 PM on January 4, 2017 [33 favorites]

Keeping on top of health maintenance. Dental, doctor, female appointments etc. When you're in your twenties, there doesn't seem to be many repercussions for letting things slide but try doing it in your forties and boy does it catch up with you. Now I stay on top of it because if you don't it becomes A Major Drama.
posted by Jubey at 2:25 PM on January 4, 2017 [2 favorites]

Curling your eyelashes. Podcasts and earphones so I never have to be a captive audience to anyone when stuck on a plane or train or in a waiting room.
posted by misseva at 2:32 PM on January 4, 2017 [2 favorites]

Getting a hobby. It took my therapist telling me point blank that I needed one, to get one. I now color, quilt, weave baskets from newspaper, and have learning how to knit and crochet on the list. And I feel oodles better for doing it.

Seconding rhodiola rosea. And multiple pairs of the same socks to avoid matching and rolling.

Getting an OttLite (I use this one) and a wearable magnifying glass like my grandmama's used for decades.

Having a vacuum cleaner on each floor of the house is a huge time and effort saver.

Having hired help. (Disclaimer: I've only been the hired help so far.) Having a housekeeper, executive assistant, handyman, nanny, babysitter, personal chef, etc. can make an enormous difference in your quality of life. Even something as small as paying your teenager to clean the bathrooms and your elementary schooler to make the beds. There are a couple ladies here who make good money posting a menu for the week on Facebook and taking orders from friends. They cook, freeze, and deliver the meals with instructions for thawing and cooking.
posted by The Almighty Mommy Goddess at 2:33 PM on January 4, 2017 [2 favorites]

This amazing shower head. The water pressure in my house isn't too great, so my showers weren't too satisfying. This thing makes so much satisfying water pressure I now look forward to showers, and don't want to get out. I can get clean and rinsed more quickly, and the shower stays cleaner. Win win.

This $25 bidet. I think it's a shame they're not used more in the United States.
posted by the matching mole at 2:53 PM on January 4, 2017 [5 favorites]

Saving money for retirement.
posted by Grumpy old geek at 2:53 PM on January 4, 2017 [1 favorite]

...wait, do you not have window scrapers where you are? ...Takes about a minute to do all the windows on my car.

Splashing the windshield with water takes only about five seconds, including uncapping and recapping the bottle. We're not talking snow or thick frost here, just enough frost that a swipe of the windshield wipers can't clear.
posted by ogooglebar at 2:55 PM on January 4, 2017

- Having two sets of sheets for each bed in your home, and two or three sets of pajamas/nightgowns for each person. If you need a change mid-laundry cycle, you can have it, and it also prevents those white-knuckled, "I didn't get the laundry done on laundry day and now I'm tired and it's late but I have to wait until the dryer is done in order to get to bed" occurrences. And it's not like it's more expensive in the long run, because two sets of sheets used concurrently will last just as long as two sets used consecutively.

- Buying one gift and one or two things for my wardrobe every month is easier on the budget than buying them all in December and in spring and fall, and also makes it easier for me to get the right things at a good price -- or means I'll have time to make them.

- Batch buying for things I need on a regular and predictable basis. Every year I buy 12 boxes of hair dye in the after Christmas sales and then I'm set to cover my gray once a month for the next year without ever once having to think "Do I have a box of dye on hand?", check the linen closet for availability because I can't remember whether I do, make a special trip to the store to buy it, and/or pay full price for a kit because I had to have it right away. I buy toilet paper, tissues, and laundry detergent in the largest packages the grocery store carries, because it sucks to run out of those things and it's cheaper, and most other things I buy "one ahead", i.e., there's a bottle of shampoo in the shower and a bottle in the supply basket in the linen closet, and when I take the extra bottle out of the linen closet it's time to add "shampoo" to the grocery list. I very rarely run out of anything or make a special trip to the store the way I used to.

- Shampoo the roots; condition the ends. When I remember to do this, it's so much easier to get a comb through my hair.

- Batch cooking once a week. Every Saturday morning finds me in the kitchen, making batches of two or three items. I usually boil a dozen or so eggs every week and then do a batch of one or two of the following: casseroles, quiches, vegetable pastries, rice, breakfast muffins, soup, salad, cake, cookies. At mealtimes it takes me about two minutes to fix myself a plate, and it's easy enough to wash up my plate and fork afterwards. I also usually only do the dishes on Saturday mornings, as it's generally just some empty containers plus whatever I used while batch cooking. I've been doing this pretty consistently for over 20 years and have found that whenever I didn't do it or did less of it than I should, I got fat and the grocery bill went up.

- I make sure to keep a meal's worth of stuff in the freezer at all times so as to be prepared for unexpected company. If there's a casserole and a cake in the freezer, I can put a decent meal on the table in less than an hour.

- The right planner. I so love my junior ARC planner. It took me until I was nearly 40 to finally find what I'd been looking for for over 25 years: a good looking, durable, customizable planner that I could use from year to year. I got mine in late 2012 for $15, it goes everywhere I go, and it'll be several more years before I need a new one. I buy an insert for it once a year, I've got zippered pocket inserts and task lists in it, I use a fancy paper clip marks the current week, and the wooden pen that my father made for me sits in the pen slot. It contains my to do lists as well as my lists of what I need for the household, for me, for gifts, and useful things like stamps, my chequebook, fabric samples and paint swatches. If I'm out and about and see something I've been looking for on sale, I've usually got the specifications in my planner and can go ahead and get the item.

- I keep lists of movies/tv shows I want to see and books I want to read in my planner (and I can tell you reading MeFi keeps those lists well populated!). Whenever I'm ready to watch or read something new, I can check the list and pick something rather than having to spend time searching the net for a good title.

- Dressing on a selected palette of colours. I subscribe to the seasonal colour theory and I wear only the warm, rich colours from the autumn palette. Not only am I wearing my best colours, but everything in my wardrobe goes together so well that I can get by with fewer clothes and accessories. If you don't believe in the seasonal colour thing, pick a palette of colours that you love and that work together well. It is a good idea to choose either a warm or a cool tone palette, because warm and cool colours don't work together.

- I always have a dark dress or suit in my closet that would be suitable for wearing to a funeral in the unfortunate event that I have to go to one. One gets just three days' notice of a funeral and the last thing I want to do when I've lost a family member or a friend is worry about what I'll wear, or have to head to the mall to shop.

- Good storage/packing strategies are such a game changer. Everything in your home should have its own home: that is, a place where it belongs, and possibly also a suitable container. On a related note to the toiletry bags for travelling people are mentioning -- I love my red faux alligator travel jewelry case so much I have also gifted travel jewelry cases to both my mother and sister. Before I bought my case, I had been keeping my jewelry in my toiletries bag or tucking it into a shoe or something when away from home, and of course the jewelry inevitably got dirty, tangled, or was a pain to find.

- Having routines and strategies for things make life SO much easier and more pleasant and frees up your mental energies for other things. If I do my nails every Sunday morning I get to enjoy having nice nails all week. If I dust and clean the bathroom on Monday, vacuum on Tuesday, grocery shop on Friday, and cook and do laundry on Saturday mornings, I always have a clean house, clean clothes, and food in the fridge, which means I live comfortably and am prepared for unexpected company.

- Doing housework in daily one-hour increments is better than trying to do it all on Saturday. I do a better job, resent it less, and find it less tiring.

- It's a good idea to decide in hard terms what you really need or want for your home and your wardrobe and to stick with that. For instance, one day some months ago after rushing to get ready to go somewhere and being delayed by trying to figure out which of my lipsticks I should wear with my outfit and frustrated by the fact that none of the seven or eight I had looked right, I tried to figure out exactly what my lipstick needs were. My conclusion was that I only needed four; that if I had a red lipstick, a coral lipstick, a copper lipstick, and a berry/plum lipstick, I would have a lipstick to go with everything in my wardrobe (I actually tested my conclusion by thumbing through the clothes in my closet, dresser, and chest of drawers, and thinking about which lipstick I would wear with each item). I had coral and plum lipsticks that I loved, so I bought the copper and red lipsticks, and got rid of the five or six others that I had, which were mostly unflattering freebies in shades of pink and purple, and an expensive but too vivid red/orange that made me look as though I'd been dining with Hannibal Lecter. Now while dressing I decide which of the four shades would look best with my outfit, put it on, and go. By paring down to four lipsticks, I save space in my makeup case, save time when making up (it's easy to remember which one is which without opening the cases and checking), and save money going forward, because I'm not the least tempted to buy extra lipsticks when I know I already have exactly what I need. This is obviously a strategy that's very specific to me, and many people reading this will scoff to themselves and think how much more time/space/money they save by having one lipstick or none at all, but that's kind of the point: the strategies that you devise to save money/time/space should be specifically tailored to your own needs and wants, and if the strategies you come up with aren't something that makes life easier and you happier when put in practice, they need rethinking.
posted by orange swan at 3:16 PM on January 4, 2017 [23 favorites]

Housekeeping gets a lot easier if you manage to keep on top of the dishes and laundry.

Wet wipes clean (almost) everything.

Books get 50 pages. TV shows get 1 episode. Films get 30 minutes. I'll never get through everything so I don't want to waste time.
posted by threetwentytwo at 3:31 PM on January 4, 2017 [2 favorites]

In my 30s: That I could enjoy doing something I was bad at.

In my 40s: If I practice a thing I'm bad at, I can get a little better.

Mostly that I can have fun doing stuff I'm shit at. I wish I'd started tap dancing WAY earlier.
posted by crankyrogalsky at 3:57 PM on January 4, 2017 [14 favorites]

posted by Serene Empress Dork at 4:00 PM on January 4, 2017 [3 favorites]

I lift barbells. Heavy ones. (At least, for me.) I feel better physically and mentally. Rippetoe's Starting Strength has been awesome.

I tried meditation, but calmness without a strategy didn't help as much as it might have. Stoicism is that strategy; I can't change what's going to happen, but I can certainly change how I react to it.

Whenever I get a raise, I take a look at how much more loot shows up in the next paycheck. I cut that in half, and setup an automatic transfer for that half to something like an IRA. I've never had to "live on less" to start a savings habit, and over 15 years, damn, those halves added up.

I take up collections of loot at work to go buy things - like long underwear - to keep homeless people a little more comfortable. People won't give money directly, but by being the middle of this one, I get people in need a lot more than they would have had otherwise.
posted by talldean at 4:00 PM on January 4, 2017 [19 favorites]

At work, I keep a running list of follow up items (stuff I've requested from people that they still owe me/emails & voicemails that I'm waiting for a response on) and dates (when I first requested/last time I sent a reminder/next time I should send a reminder). Sounds obvious, but I'm a low-level office drone with no one reporting to me and it took me a looong time to figure this out.

I used to put almost everything in the dryer. Now I put almost nothing in the dryer (that I like at least) and my clothes hold up so much better.

Rice cooker and now I can actually make rice without burning it.

Wear shoes that actually fit, not just the size, but also the shape of your foot. I need shoes with really wide toes, not necessarily wide shoes. It's kind of limiting as to shoe styles but my feet thank me every day.
posted by eeek at 4:01 PM on January 4, 2017 [7 favorites]

Habits I had to learn, and still have to work at: Save money. Buy less stuff. I used to buy a lot of stuff, especially of the "it will make my life so much better" variety. I finally learned that most of it doesn't make my life better, but having the money I would have spent on it does. Now I try to limit purchases of new stuff to things I have an immediate, specific, repeatable need for.

So, that photo printer I was totally sure I needed? Never gets used. The shelves full of books I'd bought but never read? Not getting any bigger … but not really getting any smaller either. I do use new cookbooks, though. The sous vide machine? I use it maybe once a month. In fact, I guess the one category I'm still allowing myself to acquire new stuff is anything kitchen-related, but I have to have a plan for where to plug it in and where to store it in addition to the plan to use it before I'll buy it. [looks askance at stand mixer]

That said, the things that totally improved my life, that I can recommend to anyone, were, in chronological order: a good set of hand tools (Craftsman will do; cheap sets from Target or wherever will only frustrate you); good shoes; a decent chef's knife, a spare phone charger that lives in my laptop bag, a new nonstick skillet whenever the old one wears out (about 20-ish months for me), and a computer with enough RAM and an SSD. Also if your home has the space for it, a coat rack and a shoe rack by the door. Our coat rack has a shelf, so I have a little tray on it for all my pocket stuff, so I never have to find my keys (they're either in my pocket or the tray).

But mostly: save more, buy less, and the thing bondcliff said about not being snarky and sarcastic all the time.
posted by fedward at 4:02 PM on January 4, 2017 [2 favorites]

Always write it down.

I carry a small wallet pen and a notepad. Every time I say I'm going to do something, I write it down. Everything I write down, I do. That includes promises to myself and others.

At work, people know I'm listening to them and taking it seriously because I'm writing it down. If I'm there for a longer period, it becomes a signal that I'm on it. And it keeps me from getting flaky, which is my natural tendency.
posted by Wrinkled Stumpskin at 4:23 PM on January 4, 2017 [13 favorites]

Chopped off all my hair.
posted by pretentious illiterate at 4:26 PM on January 4, 2017 [7 favorites]

I wish I had stopped going to thrift stores and estate sales sooner, because it's so easy to accumulate a lot of stuff that's "cool" but is pretty useless. It's been a few years since I kicked the habit, but I'm still re-thrifting most of it that I never really used in the first place. Having to haul it all back to the Goodwill takes quite of lot of time and energy! Ditto with ebay, that's such an addictive way to accumulate stuff (I seriously will never have enough Christmas trees for all the ornaments I bought, for one thing).

Also, I wish I had started throwing money into my IRA in my 20s - it's not very hard to put like $25 a week into a Vanguard index fund, and it does add up nicely over time.
posted by plasticpalacealice at 4:50 PM on January 4, 2017 [1 favorite]

What do you wish you had started doing sooner?

Not giving a crap about what other people think and realizing that people don't think about me near as much as I think they do. Life is short, fly your freak flag. I wished I'd started sooner, but for me it came with age and perspective.
posted by NoraCharles at 5:42 PM on January 4, 2017 [18 favorites]

- Storing my butter in a covered butter dish on a shelf, outside of the fridge. I always have spreadable, room temp butter available. It should be pasteurized butter, of course. Unpasteurized butter Learned this from my Canadian in-laws.

- Making sunscreen part of my daily skincare ritual- this includes hands, neck, chest and other exposed areas of skin that are often taken for granted.

- Using floss picks instead of regular floss. I know it creates a lot more waste, but it's made it so easy to floss my teeth that I can't say no. And flossing your teeth is awesome (your teeth feel better, your gums are healthier, it keeps bad breath at bay, and your dentist will be pleased, as well).

- Stretching my hip flexors (if I do no other stretching/yoga). Well-stretched hip flexors can undo back and neck pain in so many situations (not all, but many). NOT overrated.

- Getting a full eight hours sleep on a consistent basis. NOT overrated.

- Keeping electronics (TV, etc) and anything else that emits 'blue light' out of the bedroom. Likewise, using blackout curtains in the bedroom and sleeping with a sleep mask. I fall asleep faster, and sleep much better, when there's no stray light prying at my eyelids.

- Buying and using an air purifier.

- Using these sponges with dish-soap filled handles - you can get them for much less than what that one is listed for on Amazon, and the sponge heads are replaceable. If you don't own a dishwasher (and even if you do), believe me when I tell you this makes washing dishes much more efficient - and your hands are less likely to get wrinkly from all the water.

- Listening to podcasts. There are so many, and they are so good, and they've really taken my daily commute from banal to a pleasure.

- Using perfume properly: I spray it in front of me and and then walk through it. This way I never overdo my fragrance, the scent is subtle.

- Having my kitchen knives professionally sharpened at least once a year. The only thing better than a freshly sharpened chef's knife is having the skills to use it effectively.

- Buying lots of pairs of good wool socks. These pay off in the winter.

- Wearing fingerless gloves with a convertible mitten 'cover'. This way I can keep my hands warm but free up my fingers at any time.

- Keeping fresh flowers in the house. I like going to Aldi and buying a half dozen roses for only $3.99.

- Own and use a good cast iron pan; learn how to season it properly. It is your kitchen workhorse (in addition to the previously mentioned well-sharpened knives).

- If you love music, it's worth it to invest in a component stereo system. You don't have to have the most expensive or fancy components.

- Using a buckwheat pillow to sleep on at night. You have to add fresh buckwheat hulls every so often, but it gives excellent neck support.

- Using a Holy Basil tincture for relaxation.

- Having a really good portable flashlight, the kind that is like 900 or 1000 lumens. It's like being able to create daylight. (This is especially useful if you live out in the country.)

- Keeping baby wipes around. In addition to their obvious benefits for personal cleanliness, you can use them to wipe down the insides of your shoes, which helps eliminate some of the bacteria that makes your shoes smell.

- Foam rolling. It's painful, but it's a necessary pain and the immediate benefits are profound.
posted by nightrecordings at 6:25 PM on January 4, 2017 [10 favorites]

Learning an instrument.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 7:00 PM on January 4, 2017 [2 favorites]

Changing to a number-one haircut (simple, quick, tidy) - but it usually results in a rapid change to cooler weather!

Setting up a work contacts database - should've started the day I founded.

Caring a lot less about what other folk think. After all what's the worst thing that can happen?

Carrying a tiny paper diary and an A4 portfolio (people still love fanning though a sheaf of colour prints) - in fact anything to simplify a mobile one-man band's worklife.
posted by unearthed at 7:08 PM on January 4, 2017

Using Afrin nasal spray when I have a sinus infection. I can sleep!

Also, sleep therapy.

Nthing multiples of things that it's a pain to have only one of: the perfect spatula, phone/laptop chargers, chapsticks.
posted by peanut_mcgillicuty at 7:21 PM on January 4, 2017

Going zero inbox at work. I have a zillion folders and sub folders in my email but making sure everything in my inbox is filed in one of them by the end of each day has been a game changer. For those open/pending items I put them in a special "waiting on" folder that sits on top of all the folders and tells me how many items are sitting in there at all times.

Cooking bacon in the oven on tin foil over baking sheets. It comes out perfect every time and the best part is to just roll up and toss it grease and all. No clean up!

Using blouse tree hangers instead of regular clothing hangers. They save SO much closet space.

Throwing shit out often! Getting rid of crap is seriously my new drug, it is so liberating. minimalism is fantastic.

Write it down. You what?! NO. WRITE IT DOWN,
posted by floweredfish at 7:33 PM on January 4, 2017 [1 favorite]

- Thrift stores. Not to just accumulate stuff but because I can do some shopping with low risk, try out new clothing styles, experiment a bit and save a bucket load of $ over what I would pay for new. I get my shopping bug satisfied for a just a few bucks and often find some amazingly underpriced stuff that's really useful.
posted by diode at 7:41 PM on January 4, 2017 [3 favorites]

1. Cleaning my place a little every day instead of doing a big clean on weekends
2. Getting a gym bag I love and filling it with a bunch of extra socks, underpants and toiletries so that my shower-away-from home is as close to the home version as possible.
3. Setting up a google sheet with all my loved ones' mailing addresses.
3a. Sending thank you notes out promptly. I have people who are active in my daughter's life now because I made sure to send them thank you notes and photos of her from the time of my first baby shower. Ditto people in my professional life I can call on because I thanked them for going the extra mile for me along the way.
4. Backing up my photos and videos. The cost of a big old drive was sooo worth it.
5. Making an active decision about my level of annual charitable giving and where that money goes.

BIGGEST OF ALL: Don't sweat the small stuff, especially in love.
posted by Pearl928 at 7:50 PM on January 4, 2017 [3 favorites]

Giving up letting someone hurt my feelings out of fear that if I let them know I was hurt, they'd make fun of me or leave. Instead, I say exactly how I feel, I don't let anyone make fun of me, and I never worry that anyone worthy of me will leave me for expressing the truth.

Using Evernote.

Backing up my hard drive locally (via Time Machine) and to the cloud (by BackBlaze), and getting help to feel confident in what I'm doing instead of pretending I was backing up and feeling sick with the thought that not backing up was tempting fate.

Writing it down instead of assuming I'll remember it. (I do remember it, but writing it down makes me feel better and stop stressing about it. That's the Zeigarnik Effect.)

Seeing the doctor IMMEDIATELY when there's anything wrong with me other than an obvious diagnosis like a common cold. Recognizing that I did not go to medical school, and while being an educated consumer is helpful, I can't tell the difference between the flu and infected surgical tissue. Understanding that there is no value to money if I am dead, and debt to stay alive is not shameful.
posted by The Wrong Kind of Cheese at 10:15 PM on January 4, 2017 [2 favorites]

Electric toothbrush. I went from being mildly scolded every time I visited the dentist's to getting "looks great!"

Bath sheets (I got Pinzon ones, the Restoration Hardware ones) instead of towels

Learning to ride a bike

Silicone earplugs, every night. Noises in the morning or at night almost never wake me up any more.

My boyfriend is a huge evangelist of the following habits: meditation; not reading the news; and checking email only twice a day.
posted by phoenixy at 10:24 PM on January 4, 2017 [4 favorites]

Packing a good lunch. I'm so much happier when I'm well fed.
posted by 26.2 at 10:51 PM on January 4, 2017 [3 favorites]

Giving away books after I've read them, unless I have a specific intention to re-read them in the next year.

Keeping a Sharpie in the kitchen. When I open a food container, I write the current date on it, and I never have to wonder how long something has been in my fridge.

The Pomodoro method.

Not using my email inbox as a to-do list.
posted by yankeefog at 1:44 AM on January 5, 2017 [2 favorites]

POCKET (still waiting for the check to come in for all the free advertising I do for them). I used to have so many "to read" tabs open... for months. Yeesh! All that mental clutter! Now I read when I have a pocket of time with AM coffee or on the subway rather than when I should be writing, I tend to read more chewy long-form journalism than clickbait, and basically reading articles online has become "something I do for fun because I want to" rather than"something I did out of a vague sense of obligation and fear".
posted by athirstforsalt at 3:09 AM on January 5, 2017 [1 favorite]

This alarm clock. I always used to struggle to get up early in winter, when it's still dark out, and it made me late and inefficient and grumpy for the whole of the winter months. Waking up to a room already full of light makes an astonishing difference.
posted by Aravis76 at 4:03 AM on January 5, 2017 [4 favorites]

Setting up reminders for my loved ones' birthdays. Do it once, pick the fruits forever.

Another vote for switching to a menstrual cup. It's more comfortable, more leakproof and I could have saved SO much money.

Keeping a plastic box of hot chili peppers and another of peeled garlic in the freezer. We never run out and they never dry or rot.

And switching to Linux Mint. My computer is actually easier to use now, no more updates that take forever, and it's faster than it was under Windows.
posted by Too-Ticky at 4:10 AM on January 5, 2017 [2 favorites]

I can't really do a neti pot but Navage has been a huge improvement. Last summer during height of allergy season a rinse was sufficient - no more nasal sprays or pills.
posted by fixedgear at 5:14 AM on January 5, 2017 [1 favorite]

Buying good quality rain boots and warm snow boots.
posted by Waiting for Pierce Inverarity at 5:21 AM on January 5, 2017 [2 favorites]

Making sunscreen part of my daily skincare ritual- this includes hands, neck, chest and other exposed areas of skin that are often taken for granted

Cannot emphasize this enough, for health and vanity!

I tossed all my tupperware type containers when I moved, and bought several of the SAME EXACT KIND in two sizes that work best for my needs. The lids all stack together

These Rubbermaid containers changed my life and take up 1/4 of the space. Six months in and 1) I haven't looked for a single matching lid and 2) I haven't lost a single lid.
posted by Room 641-A at 6:11 AM on January 5, 2017

well, this is probably not applicable to you, but since you asked, I wish I'd transitioned genders much earlier than age 40

also strength training, taking meds for anxiety, and forcing myself to be social since I usually have a good time once I get out of the house.
posted by AFABulous at 6:19 AM on January 5, 2017 [4 favorites]

Prepping tomorrow's dinner tonight - doing all the washing and chopping of vegetables the night before makes things so much faster.
Cooking one big batch on Sunday of oatmeal for breakfast through the week.
Keeping a running white board list on the fridge of what food we have/what food we need/what's in the freezer.
Taking the initiative to organize social stuff. I'm always happy I did it and it turns out lots and lots of people want to be social but just can't get it together to be the one to organize.
posted by john_snow at 7:43 AM on January 5, 2017

- Practicing drawing consistently
- Getting an Instant Pot
- Drastically reducing the role I let my Narcissistic parent play in my life
- Menstrual cup --it makes me so angry to think of all the years/hassle/money/resources wasted and the fact that it wasn't even an option until relatively recently
- Taking my desires seriously, rather than instantly negating them (see: narcissistic parent)
posted by thegreatfleecircus at 8:09 AM on January 5, 2017

Also: This probably won't be applicable to you or many others, but not being so anti-drug. I had many high-quality options available to me over the years, which have now been proven to have near-miraculous effects on depression and anxiety, and I was so adamant about not touching anything that I missed out on a lot potential benefits. Now practicality has me not touching anything, and I don't have the money for things like Ketamine treatment, etc. Also, absolutely none of my friends were left with any negative effects, and it seems to have been very beneficial for every single one of them.
posted by thegreatfleecircus at 8:13 AM on January 5, 2017 [3 favorites]

A roll of paper towel and a package of wet wipes stored under the bed. Both for sex-related activities and eating-in-the-bed-related activities.

nthing having a foam roller and a racquetball (easier for harder to reach spots like your neck and between your shoulders) for muscle soreness.

Find an activity you can do year round. I absolutely love to play tennis and also live in Wisconsin. Joining the local racquet club last year has made a *huge* improvement in my life and negated needing to knock off six months of rust every May when the weather started cooperating again.
posted by Twicketface at 8:46 AM on January 5, 2017 [2 favorites]

Apologies if these have been mentioned already (it's a long thread)...

– Figuring out who I am and what I want out of life. Sure, this is part of growing up but I wish I had owned it sooner. Once I truly stopped giving a shit what other people think of me, or trying to fit societal expectations, my world opened up. The caliber of people and opportunities that I attract now is incredible. Figuring your shit out and being genuine is POWERFUL. People will notice.

– Another good one is learning to be handy with tools. There are so many things that are dead simple to do that "professionals" will charge you an arm and a leg for. Replace a light switch with a dimmer? EASY. Fix that leak under your kitchen sink? EASY. Install a new thermostat? EASY. Seriously, there's so much you can learn to do with a $100 investment in tools and 15 minutes on YouTube or a book reference book. Don't be afraid to try.
posted by buckaroo_benzai at 9:07 AM on January 5, 2017 [4 favorites]

Omg, laser hair removal. WHY did i wait until my late 30s to do this? It has made my life 100% better. It saves so much time and frustration. It's expensive but damn... it's worth it. If I could go back, I would've done it in my freaking teens. So great.
posted by silverstatue at 9:20 AM on January 5, 2017 [5 favorites]

Make a commitment to give to charity.

I took the Giving What We Can pledge earlier this year – your pledge to give 10% of your income to highly-effective charities. Nearly 2,500 people have signed up to date.

Because the charities are so good at what they do, someone on an average US salary could save the equivalent of 90 people's lives over the course of their career. It's probably among the most impactful things you can do, and if you sign up when you're youngish, you won't miss the money.

Plus, charitable giving has proven psychological benefits, so you'll feel good doing it!
posted by henryaj at 9:21 AM on January 5, 2017 [3 favorites]

Riding a bike as transport. Faster than walking, more enjoyable than transit or driving. Fresh air and exercise built into the day!
posted by exquisite_deluxe at 10:00 AM on January 5, 2017 [2 favorites]

Not trying too hard to make relationships work. It took me way too many years to learn that I couldn't row that boat alone, that people had to meet me halfway or it was a non-starter, and that it wasn't my job to get someone to not treat me like shit.
posted by orange swan at 10:13 AM on January 5, 2017 [21 favorites]

Get a Vespa style scooter for short work commutes. Greatly improves attitude before work.
posted by svenvog at 10:29 AM on January 5, 2017

those dishes you've just dirtied--wash them now. it does not get easier, and you do not "feel like it" any more in the future than you do right now.

i am 31 and have a.d.d. so i still have to work on this, and only really got good at it in the past couple of years... but doing it right away has been a game changer for me. unpacking from a vacation, opening and recycling junk mail, paying a bill online as soon as you get the notice..all those boring-administrative-adult-life-minutiae, do em! right away!

just clears up so much cognitive bandwidth and lets the rest of your life proceed a bit more easily.
posted by iahtl at 10:54 AM on January 5, 2017 [12 favorites]

This kind of comes from the GTD email framework, but it took me longer than it should have to just DO tasks that take <5 minutes. Kind of like the "just do the dishes now" approach. If there's something I can do quickly and not have to think about doing it again and have it nagging me, I'm a lot better at getting it done now.
posted by craven_morhead at 11:42 AM on January 5, 2017 [2 favorites]

Amazon Prime membership

Meal planning (and shopping and cooking for the week on the weekend)

Insulated Thermos for hot drinks

Using a budget tracking app so I don't have to do everything by hand on Excel
posted by ananci at 4:13 PM on January 5, 2017 [2 favorites]

An electric blanket. It's 14 degrees outside as I type and my landlord is never going to replace these old windows, but I am toasty as heck.

Realizing the value of eating well and exercise much earlier in life. It doesn't get any easier if you wait to start the habit.

Give the most to the people in your life - not to your job, not to things. People often leave way too soon, and regret is a heavy thing to drag around with you.
posted by deliciae at 6:17 PM on January 5, 2017 [4 favorites]

1. Find the right antidepressant and stay on it.
2. Don't date women who have boyfriends or husbands.
3. Art every day.
4. Don't spend time on people who don't reciprocate it, or who refuse to take care of themselves.
5. Moisturizing handsoap for winter, paying and getting nice soap generally. I love Lush.
6. Learn to cook and be open to trying new foods.
7. Spend some time figuring out who you are and how to be comfortable with yourself.
posted by bile and syntax at 5:47 PM on January 6, 2017 [4 favorites]

Interviewing elderly family members.
posted by soakimbo at 10:38 PM on January 6, 2017 [1 favorite]

I have extremely, hilariously thick Mediterranean hair. Last summer, I got an undercut from the top of my ears down and I feel like I hacked thick hair. It looks pretty cool up, and my hair actually lays normally and looks like hair (and not a wig) when I wear it down.

Bonus: get someone to clip it for you every week. If you already have a clipper, it's free to maintain.
posted by moons in june at 4:57 PM on January 8, 2017 [1 favorite]

As a short haired gal - going to a classic barber. I keep a really short, Ruby Rose-ish hairstyle and spent three decades frustrated with my options. Salons seemed bored and dismissive of my style even when I desperately wanted (and was paying for!) a nice salon experience. Almost without fail the stylist would just spray it down (vs a nice wash), snip away for 20 minutes and charge me up the butt. Going the supercuts route invariably ended with a boyish cut with no nuance or style. At some point I wandered into a barber and received the best, most attentive service I had EVER experienced when getting my hair cut - and it's $20 a pop. I love the hot towel and shoulder massage and look forward to my monthly cut. Close cropped ladies of AskMe, get in on this!
posted by le_salvo at 7:35 PM on January 9, 2017 [5 favorites]

I wish I had gotten into a career I enjoy earlier, rather than enduring my way through a career in a field I'm good at, but don't enjoy. Changing careers (into a physically demanding field) is difficult the older you get, and then you're left with all the years of catching up to everyone around you. It's fraught with all sorts of privilege to just say 'quit your job,' but I find I'm enjoying life more, living better, doing something that I truly enjoy and feel is meaningful, and I'm kicking myself for not having had the guts to do it earlier.
posted by Ghidorah at 10:32 PM on January 9, 2017 [3 favorites]

About half of my pairs of underwear are black and I wish I had done that earlier in my life as a menstruating person. I spent far too many hours trying to get stains out before that.
posted by needs more cowbell at 11:31 PM on January 10, 2017 [6 favorites]

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